Friday, May 27, 2011

up Close & personal


i am the sum total of life's equation &
unknown variables, whose solution
when broken down in section (parenthesis
first then multiplication)
seem more like hotdogs & doughnuts,
ground up flesh or fried to a crisp,

& don't give me none of that cliche
lemons to lemonade, there is no i in that
bullsh-t, cause pulled hard bootstraps snap &
some days seems like god takes a nap,
you ain't me, see & you never will be, so stuff
the sympathy up your...rear view mirror view,
life's not fair, divinity's no genie bound to your
will to rewrite reality, so don't expect it,

you either make the most of it, or wallow
in the moment, missing the miracles that
don't come to those that sit around on their
own clasped hands, praying, but unwilling
to tape a brush to their wrist & reimage
their old ways into something new, yet
still beautiful

This was inspired by Chuck Close, an artist who had to overcome multiple adversities, yet still finds a way to bring beauty to life.  I found his story to be quite inspirational & shared a bit of it at Friday Poetically today, asking people to write about it.

59 comments:

Randy Behavior said...

Wow, you sure told us. This piece has a much different vibe than the others of yours, I've read. Quite arresting, me likey :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

An excellent dramatic monologue in a most authentic voice - your wit and intellect shine through every line.
Remarkable work and a favourite.

David Allen Waters said...

I always LOVE when you stand on the edge with your writing my friend...

Life, God, genie in a bottle ... shit happens, it really is how we handle it, and not what we expect from God or whom ever we believe in...

another brilliant piece

Barbara Shallue said...

love the voice of this - and the bitter/hopeful/accepting tone. Perfect timing for me - thanks for the inspiration!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
From one artist to another your words are "brutally" honest..."pulling" all the right "punches" and "mincing" no words!
Thanks, for sharing the link too!
DeeDee ;-D
[postscript: I must admit that I know a little about artist Chuck Jones, but not enough about the artist and his work on canvas.]

kaykuala said...

Love this, Brian. You sure brought out the inner self, more so in this verse. To evoke empathy on a talented person who had to face the odds, sure isn't easy. Great writing!

Victoria said...

Close is "close" to the top of my list of favorite living artists. The whole process that he has to go through to create his work and the details/structure of the work itself inspires a myriad of metaphors for me. Have you seen the tapestries that he had woven by a Belgian firm based on his computer-manipulated photos of artistic-celebrity type people? When we showed them at our museum we hung them away from the wall so that viewers could (carefully) see the exacting work that went into them. Absolutely breath-taking. I am so sorry I didn't write this poem, Brian. Pure envy...and admiration.

Bonnie said...

Wow Brian!! I see the hotdogs and donuts btw.

Inspired by so many lines in this one, but for now will choose the one that stuck with me ... "...reimage old ways into something new ...".

I know just where I need to apply that.

Steve E said...

Awww, Brian. I naturally read the whole thing...but got stuck the second time on:

"i am the sum total of life's......
unknown variables..."

Isn't that just 'all'??? And so wondrously written--

Natasha said...

Great choice of image! ;) Brian...another fantastic write, as tired as you may be of me saying so! Loved how you worked in the hot dog and donut quote...I really appreciated how this man could present what he does, so very, very simply. His work would be amazing without what he overcomes to create, Today's Friday Poetically, for me, was one of the best yet. I am so thankful to you for introducing me to this divine talent...and of course, using your own divine talent to paint such a wonderful portrait of strength,and the will to live life no matter how it may be delivered. Today has been a good day! Thank you :)

lori said...

Okay, so I love everything you write (I probably gush too much about it, in fact), but to me...this is your sweet spot. When you write like this, I can hear the words ringing in my head, the passion, the truth that is pouring out with such fervency. These poet/preacher pieces are intense, and evocative, and I truly love them. It would be cool to hear them read. I wonder if it would match what's in my head.

So, I find myself being overly effusive again, but I can't help it. I am a fan of your work. I really am. Excellent! (I am clapping on this side of the computer.)

Claudia said...

woo-hoo - what were you listening when writing this..smiles
love esp. the second stanza - fast paced and really powerful and i love that you included the hotdogs & doughnuts chuck mentioned

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

This was a beatnik moment I give you snaps and a whole lot of blessings to you and your family.

DJan said...

Wonderful and inspiring poem and picture, Brian. I sometimes wonder how you do it, time after time.

drybottomgirl said...

He speaks the truth in so many ways...hoping you and your family have a restful and relaxing weekend ;)

Cathy said...

Watch the double edge the poem insists to itself. Powerful.

Everyday Goddess said...

outstanding. the feelings are so intense, and you deliver!

Mona said...

wow! That was honest anger-frustration...

I sometimes skip swearing the way you do :)

Pat Hatt said...

One talent reinforcing another
As this was just as good, if not more so, than any other
Pulling no punches
Leaving no extra word bunches
Just telling it like it is
Great write for the Friday Poetically biz

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

God, I Needed to hear and feel a bit of that today! :) Thanks Brian!

annell said...

Nice post! I like it....

sage said...

Nice poem and what a neat photo!

ayala said...

Brian, this is awesome!

Harry Nicholson said...

Well placed sentiments and words, Brian.

And thank you for the welcome.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I suppose hearing your bloggy friends say "well done" never gets old does it?

Cloudia said...

Hmmmmmm




Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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nance marie said...

i like his work

Magpie said...

It's the forever puzzle. Is it just "me" or is there "Someone" omnipotent? We all have to make that choice and try to live accordingly. One of the wonderful things about a human mind is that it can be changed. :)

rosaria said...

Ah, a hymn to a reinvented life, an exhortation to take charge of one's own life.

Heather said...

you said it! ...make the most of what you have been given...no matter what or who you are...have a great friday - the kick off to the memorial day weekend! :)

hedgewitch said...

A great and inspiring story--those paintings were amazing, and it's so true, that some overcome so much while others seem to be flattened by a stray breeze. This is a nice jivy piece with great point to it. (Sorry I couldn't play today--see you next week, or Sunday, or somethin')

Vicki Lane said...

Inspiring! Real artists make art as best they can.

Margie said...

Wonderful but then everything you write is wonderful!
Loved this!

Baino said...

Yeh whoever coined that stupid Lemonade phrase needs to be shot.

Teri said...

I love the story of Chuck Close and his paintings too. Had he not had this happen to him, perhaps he would not have stumbled on to this style of "painting" that he does. It takes great effort for him to paint and man...what a great job he does! Nice tribute Brian!

Valerie said...

you either make the most of it, or wallow
in the moment, missing the miracles that
don't come to those that sit around on their
own clasped hands, praying, but unwilling
to tape a brush to their wrist & reimage
their old ways into something new, yet
still beautiful

So true. OMG I loved this. This has to be an all time favourite.

adeeyoyo said...

That's telling them, eh! I love the way you've expressed it, Brian.

lucychili said...

a creative mind
finding solutions
adapting
great story

Lorraine said...

We are the sum total of all that we have lived, love this, as always

leaving blogger, it ppp......ss me off

you can find me at my photo blog, if you want

slommler said...

I've long been an admirer of Chuck Close and his work! He is an amazing artist and an even more amazing man! Your words evoke images of him for sure!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Dave King said...

Yup, that comes like a plate of good, wholesome home cooking after too long a spell of cordon bleu.

tony said...

All Praise The Outsider.

the walking man said...

Ya works with whats ya gots or you sit it out on your ass, yes the A is in ass where you're sitting while you could be living. Well said Brian. Well said again.

Pauline said...

you are not only a word master but a philosopher as well. "reimage their old ways into something new" - as you do!

Patricia said...

Yeah, SNAP, right back at you! (pulled hard bootstraps snap) I've been wondering this whole time what Close would say to all of this. Now, I feel like I was just listening to Him. What a voice... good job Brian. Please tell me Close is reading these and/or at least knows of this event. I'm thinking your ability to capture the raw passion of his reality, just freed his spirit from that chair for a bit. Amazing.

Christine said...

Awesome. Poem and art.

TechnoBabe said...

Some people make the choice to have a real life, whatever that must be for them. This is an inspiring piece of writing. He sounds like someone we would all be better for knowing.

Daniel said...

Very uplifting message/thought here. Loved it.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Strongly makes the point that life may not deal out a good hand but what you do with it is down to you

Sue said...

I love when you put yourself in another's place and write with his or her voice. You have a unique ability to get it right.

=)

Matt Coughlan said...

"to tape a brush to their wrist & reimage
their old ways into something new, yet
still beautiful"

Dig the payoff. I also enjoyed the tenacious tone to this piece, because it feels like an icebreaker plowing through an ice field of excuses. :D

Raven said...

Another amazing poem, full of wit and wisdom. As usual I am in awe of your talent.

otin said...

Life can definitely be unfair...

Mark Kerstetter said...

Brian, I always feel as though I will be lost in a sea of comments when I come to your blog, but I thank you in your persistence in visiting me, and for offering the platform to look at Chuck Close poetically. He is an amazing man.

Your take on this surprised me, in a good way. Just imagine how crushing such tragedies would feel! The line about the bootstraps in particular struck a chord with me. You've presented the man who calls himself Chuck on a very basic, human level. I read this and think: Now dammit, get up and write a poem!

Lydia said...

I love this. And this especially:
cause pulled hard bootstraps snap & some days seems like god takes a nap...

You probably don't even know how important and defining this work is.

PattiKen said...

Powerful. This has the cadence of a rap song, and its message of anger and frustration, too.

tracy said...

Okay. I'll stop feeling sorry for myself now.

Syd said...

There is much to overcome in this life. Lemons to lemonade always made me think of the squeezer with a lot of sugar added. I believe that I know a few people like that.

A.Decker said...

I've always enjoyed Chuck's work, but this is the most I've ever heard about him. Now I gotta look him up.
Good words.